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Book Review - BMW Racing Motorcycles

BMW Racing Motorcycle - The Mastery of Speed

Written by Laurel C Allen and Mark Gardner, BMW Motorcycles reviews the long and interesting history of BMW. Beginning in the early 1900’s and moving all the way to present times. Back in the early days though BMW engineers were focused on airplanes, rather than the motorcycles or cars they’re famous for now.

There was even a period in the early days of BMW when the German company was relegated to making everything from tool boxes to office equipment when the Allies confiscated the assets of BMW. Things changed for BMW in 1923 after Max Friz spent four months designing the R32, the first BMW motorcycle, a 500cc horizontally opposed twin cylinder. Madonna reportedly just bought a fully restored one of this for her husband Guy Ritchie by the way. A lucky guy!

That’s just a hint of the fascinating history of BMW that you’ll read about in the beautifully illustrated book. It will be a welcome addition to the library of any motorcycle enthusiast, particularly those with a love of all things boxer!

It follows the designers of BMW’s machines and their riders. The riders racked up countless victories and secured a well earned and prestigious reputation of quality, and reliability for the Bavarian machines. It didn’t come without cost to the talented riders though. Motorcycling has inherent dangers but perhaps never as dangerous as those early years when racing fatalities were all too common place in the sport. BMW was no exception.

I can’t imagine anybody that likes motorcycles not taking enormous pleasure from the 130 full color illustrations and photos gathered in this 176 page, hardcover book. You’ll not only see and read about the early days of BMW; you’ll also learn what’s been happening in recent years at BMW and get up to date information as details on the 450 cc single that BMW is entering into AMA cross country Championships.

It’s full of interesting facts and details about BMW motorcycles. For example; did you know that in the late 90’s that BMW used what they called a Funduro F650 RR for the Paris Dakar that made 70 hp and actually displaced 700cc? How about in 2000 when an R 900 RR boxer was built to 900cc capacity for the Dubai Rally producing 90 hp? A 900cc boxer!

The audience for this book is likely somebody who either owns a BMW motorcycle or has a keen interest in the BMW marquee. The book is meticulously researched and written by Laurel C. Allen and Mark Gardiner and I can't say enough about those pictures! Laurel is the daughter of a two-time Canadian national championship, a racer herself, and now Senior Editor of Road Racer X magazine. Mark Gardiner was an Ad guy and amateur motorcycle racer when in 2002 quit his job, sold everything, and moved to the Isle of Mann to race in the TT! Whoah! He’s now a motojournalist and author.

The book is available through its Publisher Whitehorse Press for $29.95 USD. The book was published in 2008. It’s also available via the bookstore page of our site at a discount. It's on Page 28 and listed at $19.28 CDN and eligible for free shipping on orders over $39.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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